This guest post is from Grant Harris, Owner & Chief Style Consultant at Image Granted, LLC.
Dressing shouldn't be a competition. Every man has his own individual style and dressing well isn't a boyhood race to see who can tie the best tie or wear the shiniest shoes. However, there are several ways to look better than the next guy without trying hard at all. All you have to do is follow this advice:
1. Wear a tie - When you don't have to that is. A tie -- whatever the material or width -- automatically steps an outfit up a notch. Wear one with jeans on the weekend when the next guy is in a polo.
2. Shine your shoes - Take 20 minutes on a Saturday afternoon and polish your dress shoes. You'll notice (so will the ladies) your co-worker Monday morning with a dull hue on his toe while you'll be sparkling.
3. Tuck in your shirt - When you don't have to that is. You may sense a recurring theme here. Doing something when you don't have to immediately puts you on a different level. Tuck in your shirt at the club when every other guy has it hanging out.
4. Wear collar stays - Too many men walk around with their collar flying up. If a man can't control his collar how will he control his environment?
5. Wear shorter jacket sleeves - 90% of men wear their jacket sleeves too long and end up looking like a juvenile child in a garment that doesn't fit. Tell your tailor you want at least 1/2 inch of shirt cuff to show with your arms at yours sides.
6. Wear your pant legs shorter - Another theme. Men wear their pants entirely too baggy. Pants are meant to hang with a break...not in layers. If you're tall go for a slight break. If you're short go no break at all.
7. Wear a dimple - Wear a dimple in your tie and you'll be two steps ahead of the other guy. No tie is tied correctly without it. Stick your finger in the middle under the knot just before tightening it. Quality fabric will mold to your dimple after a while and it will be easier to create.
8. Brighten up your socks - Most men know to wear socks the same color as their pants. This is fine for the boardroom, but it's OK to break the mold sometimes. Wear colorful, striped, and even argyle socks. Show your creative side.
9. Wear a pocket square - Add a hint of playfulness and imagination. Their is a pocket in your suit jacket for a reason, so use it. Pocket squares -- like socks -- are an extension of yourself. Be imaginative and wear different folds and colors. Just don't match it with your tie.
10. Open Pandora's box - The box stitch, I mean. This is the closed box found at the end of the vent in your suit jacket and outerwear. It's meant to hold the vent shut before wearing but it is NOT permanent. Too many men wear their garment with the box stitch still closed. This is either a lack of attention to detail or an overall lack of sartorial knowledge -- or both.
11. Say please - No matter what you're wearing or how much it cost it won't matter a shit if you don't know how and when to say please.
12. Say thank you - See number 11.
Grant Harris is Owner & Chief Style Consultant at Image Granted, LLC, a Washington, DC based Image Consulting company dedicated to solving the complex image, style &fashion issues of today's professional man.